Striking public demonstration of link between brain functioning and the Maharishi Effect


In a first of its kind public demonstration, MIU professor Fred Travis, Director of the MIU Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition, demonstrated how a group of meditation experts can enhance the brain functioning of others — a major step forward in understanding how the Maharishi Effect works.

The event took place at a press conference on January 11 In Hyderabad, India, during the 10,000 for World Peace Assembly that brought together more than 10,000 people from 139 countries to demonstrate the power of this novel but scientifically well-documented approach to peace.

The assembly was held at the Kanha Shanti Bhavan complex, the world’s largest meditation hall and the headquarters of the Heartfulness Institute in the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The demonstration began with a TM meditator seated on the stage in front of the 10,000 participants. Attached to her head was a cluster of electrodes connected to a computer monitoring her brainwave activity. Her brainwave activity in turn was displayed on two immense screens in the mammoth meditation hall.

As she looked out at the audience, Dr. Travis pointed to the lines of brainwaves seen on the displays — mostly fast beta (20 cycle/sec) brain waves.

Then he asked her to begin practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique. Almost immediately the pattern changed to clear rhythmical alpha brain waves (8-10 cycles/sec).

Then he asked her to open her eyes.

“What you were seeing was brain activity during a fourth major state of human consciousness, completely different from waking, dreaming, and sleeping,” Travis told the audience.

“In the ancient Yogic texts this is called samadhi. You see a quick onset of activity in the alpha frequency band, about 8-10 cycles per second, indicating a state of deeply restful alertness — the body is rested while the mind is fully alert. And you see how the brain waves from all the different parts of the brain have lined up, becoming much more coherent and orderly, and how they have increased in power. This is the signature of samadhi, and TM is the only meditation that produces this immediately from the first sitting. It’s from this brain coherence that all the many benefits of TM come.”

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